Scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes of the match, Hartwick and its high-powered offense proved too much for the men’s soccer team, as the Red fell, 4-0, to the Hawks. Cornell drops to 1-12-1, 0-4-1 Ivy on the year, while Hartwick improved to 12-2-3, 3-0-0 Atlantic Soccer Conference.
“They played faster than we did in the first 15 or 20 minutes of the game,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “They’re a dangerous team going forward and we were very poor tonight with our individual defending.”
Hartwick got on the board at just 2:13 into the game. A Red defender was caught diving in on a ball at the top of Cornell’s box, leaving Hartwick’s Chris Jackson with open shot from 12 yards out. Jackson slammed the shot home, hitting the lower right corner of the goal to beat senior goalkeeper Peter Francis.
Making his second start of the season, Francis had six saves on the night.
“[Francis] did a pretty good job,” Scales said. “He gave us his best and we expected nothing less from Pete.”
Jackson again picked apart the Cornell defense at 15:55, threading a pass to Edwin Ruiz. Ruiz burried the shot in the lower-right corner of Cornell’s net for his team-leading 12th goal on the season.
Responding to the speed of Hartwick up front, Scales brought several subs in at the middle of the first half. The changes proved timely, as the Red was able to slow the Hartwick attack and manage six shots of its own in the first half. Cornell’s best chance to get back in the game came in the middle of the first half when senior Scott Palguta had a header that sailed just wide of the goal.
“We made some substitutions, and were able to claw our way back into the game,” Scales said. “However, by then it wa 2-0 and we just couldn’t get a goal to get ourselves going.”
Hartwick’s defense dominated the second half, limiting the Red to just one shot. Cornell’s defense withstood the Hawks’ offensive drive until the final minutes of the game.
Breaking out of its own end from a goal kick, Jackson notched his second assist on the night when he found Barry Pearson at the top of the 18 for the Hawks’ third goal. The goal was scored in the 86th minute and was Pearson’s first on the year.
Hartwick’s final goal of the night game off a penalty kick in 88th minute. Craig Porter converted the penalty kick for the Hawks.
The match was Cornell’s last non-conference game of the season and provided Scales with an opportunity to test out several player combinations in preparation for the Red’s final two Ivy league matches.
“We started a whole bunch of different guys who didn’t play in the Princeton game. We wanted to really get some energy going from the guys who didn’t play that much against Princeton,” Scales said. “I think we answered some questions about a number of different players playing at a number of different spots tonight.
Scales noted the combination of juniors Pape Seye and Kuda Wekwete as strong offensive performers for the Red.
“I thought Kuda and Pape did a pretty good job,” Scales said. “They were pretty dangerous during the game and they had some good opportunities.”
The Red’s final two games come against the Dartmouth and Columbia, teams first and seventh, respectively, in the Ivies. Scales feels conifident about the lineup Cornell will field for the matches.
“For these last two Ivy League games we’re going to throw our best 11 out there and let them go as long as they can go and see if we can get a good result,” Scales said.
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer